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Archive 2013 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring backgroun...
  
 
mbpautz762
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


The boring shot below is from a Lindsey Concert at a local university. Luckily this wasn't a contracted job, because the stage was tiny, completely empty, and the background was what you see here - flat, boring, and lit perfectly evenly. A lot of the concert was lit like this, with her getting the same flat lighting, so I am having a lot of trouble making these interesting. For a few songs, she played under those strong RGB DJ style lights that created a very difficult white balance issue on her face. The throwaways uploaded are examples of this.


I am struggling with processing style too - I have spent hours trying to find a style that works, and it ends up only working for one photo and I have to abandon it for the next. so three questions here:
1- how on earth would you save an image like this?
2- How would you go about processing the white balance here? Is there a way to remove the color cast on her face without destroying the skin tones?
3- For you personally, how did you arrive at your processing style, and do you apply it to all your images with only small alterations?

thanks for any help!





Boring image #1







White balance issue #1







Another white balance issue







White Balance issue #2




Feb 25, 2013 at 05:05 PM
PhotonMayhem
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


each image by itself may not be something spectacular, but making them into a book/collage may "work".

I don't think you will manage a beauty shot with perfect skin-tones out of that lighting, but maybe you don't need it if you want to show the emotion and the feeling of the performance.

One thing you may try is to put a few differently lit images together and adjust them until you get some "recipe".

or just go b/w like here:

http://46it.ca/FS-HP800--FG--Terra.jpg


Film Stock: HP800
Fashion Grade: Terra

play with the colours:
http://46it.ca/FS-EColour--FG-Summer.jpg

Film Stock: EColour
Fashion Grade: Summer


http://46it.ca/FS-EColour--FG--Rose.jpg

Film Stock: EColour
Fashion Grade: Rose

sorry for the watermark, but here's the app that was used to make those adjustments: http://illuminations.herokuapp.com/
(to replicate, just use the film-stock and fashion-grade look as stated)

cheers



Feb 25, 2013 at 06:04 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


What kind of violin music requires leg kicks?


Feb 25, 2013 at 06:14 PM
mbpautz762
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


hahaha....This is Lindsey Stirling, by the way. She gets quite involved in her shows. Here's a shot a her in Atlanta:

http://progressive-imaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Lindsey-Stirling-Atlanta-1206-Edit.jpg

I also have the honor of photographing her in Denver next month. She's an amazing live act....but the lighting is so difficult, hence why I'm here. I've spent literally days trying to figure out how to fix these white balance issues

*edit* changed to a more flattering photo



Feb 25, 2013 at 06:35 PM
greggn
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


> so I am having a lot of trouble making these interesting.

I guess our expectations are different. I shoot a lot of concerts and my expectation is simply to capture the moment ... not to manufacture something that wasn't actual.

If the lighting was flat or the background boring, well, that's what it was. You documented the event as it happened. There's a lot to be said for that.





Mar 01, 2013 at 01:09 AM
mbpautz762
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


I had forgotten about this thread...
I got some good advice from someone that in concerts, lighting will do whatever the hell it wants to and it's pointless to fight it, so I decided to take that view. Instead of fixing something I see as wrong, I'm going to embrace it as part of the mood....very similar to what Greggn was saying



Mar 01, 2013 at 02:34 AM
 

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papageno
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


If you do not already shoot raw, now is a good time to switch.....

Shooting performances is almost always a challenge, for the reasons you mention plus whatever limitations you have on access.



Mar 07, 2013 at 02:49 AM
TMGraphics
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


Custom white balance with an ExpoDisk or some other tool. Wondering if all shots have to be full body? Maybe zoom in a little to get her expressions. Maybe shoot from stage level upwards to subject? Try a silhouette type shot. Good Luck!


Mar 07, 2013 at 01:12 PM
mbpautz762
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


These were just samples showing the lighting problem, and they're all rejects. The full published set is far more interesting with a variety of shots, but I was really wanting to know about the specifics on these for next time. I do shoot RAW already, and there's not enough time to use an expodisc or similear (I use a colorRight pro) with the rapidly changing environment...

mainly I'm not worrying about it so much, but I have had some success with 'painting on' tint and WB settings with the adjustment brush in lightroom on some shots where she had a severely blue face on one side, and normal on the other due to the lights.



Mar 07, 2013 at 07:57 PM
papageno
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


You might want to think of this as two possible problems: shooting and processing.

Shooting, do you have a longer lens available? I think some head and shoulders framing could be both exciting and more personal, since it would be closer. I've shot a number of artists from the back of the hall with (often) a 300 2.8 which seems to work well. You seem to be able to shoot from the audience, which allows shorter lenses, but I would assume you are then pretty well stuck in one spot.

Since you are familiar with the artist, how she works and poses will suggest shooting spots. If you are reshooting her frequently, you might consider first getting a few "safe" shots then working towards something that is higher risk from a different angle.

I think you are possibly being too photographic about color balance. making all the flesh tones perfect removes an interesting visual component that the live audience is seeing.....

If she is being videoed, what can you learn from how they approach things--and how do they handle the lighting?



Mar 08, 2013 at 07:52 AM
Almass
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


Maybe you would like to make the Violin rendition more dynamic and the lighting more dramatic?












Mar 08, 2013 at 04:00 PM
papageno
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · concert - Struggling with flat lighting, boring background at university


Just trying to offer alternative strategies......


Mar 09, 2013 at 02:26 AM





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